Mbale, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Inzu Ya Masaba Cultural Institution has rejected an invitation by the Gender, Labour and Social Development Ministry to resolve the dispute arising from the election of two cultural leaders. The cultural institution is currently split into factions with one allied to Jude Mike Mudoma, who was elected by a faction led by the former Nelson Wedaira and another group allied to John Amram Wagabyalire, who has been gazetted as the Umukuka III.
This prompted the Gender, Labour and Social Development Ministry Permanent Secretary to write on December 18th, 2020 inviting the warring factions for a reconciliatory meeting on December 29th, 2020. The PS notes that the Ministry has received letters signed by the Secretary General of Inzu Ya Masaba, Geoffrey Wepondi and Speaker Sister Rose Nelima indicating that the election of Mike Jude Mudoma as the third Umukuka was null and void and that the rightful cultural leader is Wagabylire who was elected on the 11/12/2020.
According to the ministry, the conflicting information orchestrated by the two warring factions especially the speakers of the two sides Sr. Rose Nelima on one side and Nelson Wedaira on the other side is creating confusion, disharmony, uncertainty and disunity among the Bamasaba and other stakeholders.
The ministry has therefore invited the speakers, Chairpersons of the governing council, culture council and the secretary generals of both factions to discuss the election of the two cultural leaders. Inzu Ya Masaba has officially responded the invitation through its lawyers of Katongole & Company Advocates indicating that none of their officials will attend the said meeting, saying it is prejudicial since they have already commenced criminal and civil suits Wedaira’s group for contempt of court.
“We have already commenced both criminal and civil cases against the con-tempters in court. Between the two sides therefore the matter is prejudicial and anything we say in that meeting could be used against us. Therefore, the officials of INZU YA MASAABA cannot attend the 29th December 2020 meeting,” the letter reads in part.
Adding that, “As the Permanent Secretary, you are an Accounting Officer but also a custodian of the procedures and Rules of Law. Therefore, we request that you use the meeting of the 29th December 2020 to educate the Contempters of Court”.
They also note that Wagabyalire has already been gazzeted as the new Umukuka and they are only waiting for his coronation of January 31, 2021. Wagabyalire will takeover from the incumbent Umukuka Bob Mushikori who five year term expired in July. However, the election of his successor was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw government restrict public gatherings.
But Wedaira’s faction insists that Wagabyalire was elected and gazzeted in error. According to Wedaira, the scheduled meeting will help to solve the long standing impasse between the two factions and decide on the rightful cultural leader.